There seem to be two reasons for being old fashioned:

  • because the world seems to pass you by, or
  • because there are good grounds for sticking to tried and tested methods to avoid unintended consequences.

Currently behaving traditionally seems to have advantages for property lawyers!

Firstly, verbal communication – that is as in ringing up and talking to people – remains useful. Dealing with teenage children brings it home that it is the same in the professional sphere. A long chain of emails/messages to and fro is slower in getting to the heart of the problem, and agreeing a result than picking the phone up and speaking at the outset. Ten seconds instead of 10 minutes. That is helpful.

A by-product of being old fashioned and asking people to ring or write letters (although try explaining that to purely digital people) is a reduction in the incidence of email fraud! Solicitors firms have suffered from this tremendously. Fraudsters maintain a watch on emails between solicitors and clients and when they pick up the email from one to the other saying "Please send us your bank details for this large sum of money to be transferred", they nip in and doctor the details putting in their own bank accounts instead. No one is any the wiser and the money is then transferred to the fraudsters’ account and never arrives at the true destination.

The legal profession has been somewhat naïve and slow in picking up that this type of practice actually happens, but those of us who have remained in the traditional camp asking clients to write letters or ring in have so far escaped loss.